Wessex Archaeology

Bitterley Shropshire
Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Ref: 77501 February 2012

BITTERLEY, SHROPSHIRE Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Prepared for: Videotext Communications Ltd 49 Goldhawk Road LONDON SW1 8QP

by Wessex Archaeology Portway House Old Sarum Park SALISBURY Wiltshire SP4 6EB

Report reference: 77501.01

February 2012

© Wessex Archaeology Limited 2012 all rights reserved Wessex Archaeology Limited is a Registered Charity No. 287786

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

DISCLAIMER THE MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT WAS DESIGNED AS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A REPORT TO AN INDIVIDUAL CLIENT AND WAS PREPARED SOLELY FOR THE BENEFIT OF THAT CLIENT. THE MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT DOES NOT NECESSARILY STAND ON ITS OWN AND IS NOT INTENDED TO NOR SHOULD IT BE RELIED UPON BY ANY THIRD PARTY. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW WESSEX ARCHAEOLOGY WILL NOT BE LIABLE BY REASON OF BREACH OF CONTRACT NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE (WHETHER DIRECT INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL) OCCASIONED TO ANY PERSON ACTING OR OMITTING TO ACT OR REFRAINING FROM ACTING IN RELIANCE UPON THE MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT ARISING FROM OR CONNECTED WITH ANY ERROR OR OMISSION IN THE MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THE REPORT. LOSS OR DAMAGE AS REFERRED TO ABOVE SHALL BE DEEMED TO INCLUDE, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, ANY LOSS OF PROFITS OR ANTICIPATED PROFITS DAMAGE TO REPUTATION OR GOODWILL LOSS OF BUSINESS OR ANTICIPATED BUSINESS DAMAGES COSTS EXPENSES INCURRED OR PAYABLE TO ANY THIRD PARTY (IN ALL CASES WHETHER DIRECT INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL) OR ANY OTHER DIRECT INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL LOSS OR DAMAGE

QUALITY ASSURANCE SITE CODE PLANNING APPLICATION REF. 77501 ACCESSION CODE NGR CLIENT CODE

NGR 356280, 277418

VERSION

STATUS*

PREPARED BY

APPROVED BY

APPROVER’S SIGNATURE

DATE

FILE

01

F

SDT

JPG

24/02/12

X/PROJECTS/77501/REPORT/77501_BITTERL EY_REPORT (ED LNM)

* I= Internal Draft E= External Draft F= Final

WA Project No. 77501

i

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

BITTERLEY, SHROPSHIRE

Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Contents Summary ............................................................................................................ iv Acknowledgements..............................................................................................v 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................1 1.1 Project Background .....................................................................................1 1.2 The Site, Location and Geology ..................................................................1 1.3 Circumstances of the Project.......................................................................1 1.4 Historical Background..................................................................................1 1.5 Previous Archaeological Work.....................................................................4 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ...................................................................................4 METHODOLOGY ................................................................................................5 3.1 Geophysical Survey.....................................................................................5 3.2 Domesday ...................................................................................................5 3.3 Landscape and Earthwork Survey...............................................................5 3.4 Test Pits.......................................................................................................5 3.5 Evaluation Trenches....................................................................................5 3.6 Copyright .....................................................................................................6 RESULTS ............................................................................................................6 4.1 Introduction..................................................................................................6 4.2 Geophysical Results....................................................................................6 4.3 Magnetic Survey (Figure 2) .........................................................................7 4.4 GPR Survey (Figure 4) ................................................................................8 4.5 Conclusions .................................................................................................8 4.6 Landscape and Earthwork Survey...............................................................9 4.7 Test Pits.......................................................................................................9 4.8 Evaluation Trenches..................................................................................11 FINDS ................................................................................................................12 5.1 Introduction................................................................................................12 5.2 Material from test pits ................................................................................13 5.3 Material from trenches...............................................................................14 5.4 Potential and further recommendations.....................................................16 5.5 Discard policy ............................................................................................16 DISCUSSION.....................................................................................................17 6.1 Introduction..................................................Error! Bookmark not defined. RECOMMENDATIONS .....................................................................................19 ARCHIVE...........................................................................................................19 REFERENCES ..................................................................................................20 9.1 Bibliography...............................................................................................20 9.2 Online resources .......................................................................................21

2 3

4

5

6 7 8 9

WA Project No. 77501

ii

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

APPENDIX 1: Test pit and Trench Summaries Tables Table 1: Table 2: Table 3: Table 4: Table 5: Figures Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Site location, trench location and location of survey areas Summary gradiometer interpretations (A)Topographic data; (B) Topographic data with gradiometer overlay Summary GPR interpretations Test pits within Bitterley Plate1: Stone-lined drain 605 in Test Pit 6, from the west Plate 2: Surface 902 in Test Pit 9, from the west Plate 3: Surface 1204 in Test Pit 12, from the south Plate 4: Surface 1602 in Test Pit 16, from the west Figure 7 Trench 30: plan and photographs Plate 5: Trench 30, view from south Plate 6: Trench 30, showing wall 3003, view from west Figure 8 Trench 31: plan and photograph Plate 7: Trench 31, view from south Figure 9 Trench 32: plan and photograph Plate 8: Trench 32, view from south-west Figure 10 Trench 33: plan and photograph Plate 9: Trench 33, view from north Front cover: (top) View of Bitterley Court and St Mary’s Church (bottom) Trench 30 under excavation Back cover: Trench 30 under excavation Finds totals by area Breakdown of finds from Test Pits 1-20 Pottery totals from Test Pits 1-20 Pottery from Trenches 30-33 Number of identified specimens present (or NISP)

WA Project No. 77501

iii

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

BITTERLEY, SHROPSHIRE Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Summary In April 2011 an archaeological evaluation, comprising test pits and trenches, was undertaken by Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’ in the village of Bitterley, Shropshire (NGR 356280, 277418). Time Team were assisted by members of the local Bitterley Archaeological Team (BATS) and members of the community in the excavation of test pits to investigate the origins of the village and the site of possible deserted medieval village (DMV) located some 700m to the east. According to tradition, the DMV was located next to the local Manor house (now the site of Bitterley Court) and the 12th century church of St. Mary. The geophysical and topographical surveys and the evaluation trenches targeted upon supposed area of the DMV identified no traces of an abandoned medieval settlement, and all remains identified were agricultural in origin, and probably belonged to the post-medieval period. However, pottery dating to the 12th to 13th centuries was recovered, concentrated in two trenches and relatively unabraded, and it is possible that medieval structures may still survive in this area¸ sealed below the post-medieval remains. If there was a medieval village here, it appears to have disappeared by the 14th century. Depopulation due to the Black Death may have been one cause, but there were almost certainly other contributory factors. Within the modern village of Bitterley, the test pits revealed a number of postmedieval structures in the form of metalled surfaces and stone-built drains, but none of medieval date. Twelve of the 18 excavated test pits produced medieval pottery (late 12th or 13th century), all in residual contexts, but with a slight concentration in the southern part of the village. A mill recorded in 1165 may have been located either at Mill Croft, within the village, or at Mill Farm, immediately to the west. It is hoped that the results of Time Team’s work will assist the BATs and act as a springboard for further community archaeological investigations at Bitterley. The results of the evaluation do not warrant detailed publication, but a summary will be submitted to the Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society, for inclusion in the annual round-up of archaeology in the county.

WA Project No. 77501

iv

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

BITTERLEY, SHROPSHIRE Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results
Acknowledgements This programme of post-excavation and assessment work was commissioned and funded by Videotext Communications Ltd, and Wessex Archaeology would like to thank the staff at Videotext, and in particular Val Croft (Production Manager), Jim Mower (Development Producer), Ellie Hunt (Researcher) and Kerry Ely (Locations Manager) for their considerable help during the recording and post-excavation work. The geophysical survey was undertaken by John Gater, Jimmy Adcock, Emma Wood and Graeme Attwood (of GSB Prospection) and landscape survey and map regression was undertaken by Alex Langlands. The excavation strategy was devised by Mick Aston (Bristol University). The on-site recording was co-ordinated by Steve Thompson, with on-site finds processing by Olly Good, both of Wessex Archaeology. The excavations were undertaken by Time Team’s retained archaeologists, Phil Harding (Wessex Archaeology), Tracey Smith, Matt Williams, Ian Powlesland, Raksha Dave and Cassie Newland, assisted by Julian Thorley, Alison Nicholls, Deborah Forrester, Tony Hanna, Ben Raffield, Charlotte Baron, Andy Johnson and Ken Wychorley. On site finds washing was undertaken by Sue Foster, Jan Holland and Martin Holland of Wolverhampton Archaeological Group and the children of Bitterley C of E Primary School. Pottery identification was by Deb Klemperer with small finds identification by Peter Reavill (Shropshire County Council Finds Liaison Officer). The archive was collated and all post-excavation assessment and analysis undertaken by Wessex Archaeology. This report was compiled by Steve Thompson with initial historical research by Jim Mower and Ellie Hunt of Videotext Communications, and Domesday and ecclesiastical research by Teresa Hall. Specialist reports were prepared by GSB Prospection (Geophysics) and Lorraine Mepham (finds), and the illustrations were prepared by Kenneth Lymer. The postexcavation project was managed on behalf of Wessex Archaeology by Lorraine Mepham. This report has benefited from discussion with Mick Aston, Phil Harding, Richard K Morriss, Teresa Hall and Alex Langlands. Thanks are due to James Wheeler, owner of Bitterley Court, and farmer John Amphlett, for allowing access for geophysical survey and archaeological evaluation. Thanks are also extended to June Buckard and the Bitterley Archaeological Team (BATS) and the villagers of Bitterley for allowing access to their gardens for the digging of test pits, and to Jane Bishop (Head Teacher) and the staff and pupils of Bitterley C of E Primary School, their parents and the villagers of Bitterley for their considerable help in the excavation of the test pits.

WA Project No. 77501

v

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results
1 1.1 1.1.1 INTRODUCTION Project Background Wessex Archaeology was commissioned by Videotext Communications Ltd to undertake a programme of archaeological recording and post-excavation work on an archaeological evaluation and community test pitting project undertaken by Channel 4’s Time Team in the village of Bitterley, Shropshire. (hereafter the ‘Site’) (Figure 1). The project aimed to investigate the origins of the village while investigating the site of a possible deserted medieval village (DMV). This report documents the results of archaeological survey and evaluation undertaken by Time Team, and presents an assessment of the results of these works. The Site, Location and Geology Bitterley is approximately 5 km north-east of Ludlow and approximately 3.5 km south-east of Cleedownton, on the western side of Titterstone Clee Hill. The underlying geology comprises sandy clay, variably gravelly (BGS 166). The village is centred on NGR 356280, 277418 at a height of approximately 153m above Ordnance Datum (aOD). The Site was divided into two main areas for investigation: the modern village of Bitterley, and Bitterley Court and the surrounding fields, centred on NGR 356982, 277241 and located some 720m to the south-east of the village. The fields, which are separated from Bitterley Court by a ha-ha wall, contain numerous earthworks which have been interpreted as the remains of the presumed DMV. Circumstances of the Project Bitterley was proposed as the subject of archaeological investigation as a result of an invitation from Mrs June Buckard of the Bitterley Archaeological Team (BAT); an after-school group for the children of Bitterley C of E Primary School, and the villagers of Bitterley. It was hoped that the work by Time Team could be used as a spring board for further community work. Historical Background The present parish of Bitterley appears to be an amalgamation of earlier manorial units, some of which have separate entries in Domesday Book (Thorn and Thorn 1986): Henley (Sa 4,3,48), Upper Ledwych (Sa 4,14,22), and Middleton (Sa 4,14,23) were all separate manors, and Snitton appears to have been part of Caynham at Domesday (ibid., note 4,11,4).

1.1.2

1.2 1.2.1

1.2.2

1.3 1.3.1

1.4 1.4.1

WA Project No. 77501

1

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

The village at Domesday 1.4.2 At Domesday, Bitterley is listed in the hundred of Overs (Sa 4,8,13) as a holding of Roger of Lacy under Earl Roger. By 1102, Earl Roger had forfeited his lands and Roger of Lacy held Bitterley directly from the King (ibid., note 4,8). 1.4.3 The Domesday entry tells us that in King Edward's day Bitterley had been held by Godwin, a free man. The holding comprised three hides of land, and the Lord of the manor had one plough on the demesne and had four slaves. Settlement on the manor consisted of a church and a priest, six villeins and a smallholder. Between them they had three ploughs, and the Domesday scribe tells us that there was room for another three ploughs. Two hedged enclosures are mentioned – these were for capturing deer (ibid., note 3c,2). The value of the manor was 60s before 1066 and 40s in 1086, as it had been laid waste in the intervening period. At the time of Domesday, Bitterley was a very minor holding of Roger de Lacy (holding from Earl Roger). His main manor in this area was the nearby Stanton Lacy (Sa 7,4), which comprised 20½ hides with land for 50 ploughs. The manor of Stanton Lacy has 137 people recorded on it (including slaves, villagers and sub-tenants etc) as opposed to the 13 people recorded at Bitterley. This illustrates the insignificant nature of Bitterley in 1086.

1.4.4

Ecclesiastical History 1.4.5 In comparison to the minor nature of Bitterley at Domesday, the church appears to have had a much grander status, perhaps as a result of its preNorman foundations and associations with a possible Saxon Minster at Stanton Lacy, the main manor of Roger de Lacy. 1.4.6 The church is mentioned in Domesday along with one priest (Thorn and Thorn 1986). In the 1291 Taxatio Ecclesiatica (Caley 1834, 166b), the church of Buterleye was worth 21 6s 8d, with pensions from the churches of Hope Bagot and Caynham. The payment of a pension from one church to another was often to compensate for loss of monies paid to the mother church, such as burial fees, when a daughter church became independent (Hall 2000, 5). Bitterley church itself paid a portion of tithes to the Prior of Hereford. This would have been a donation from the lord of manor or owner of the advowson (the right to present or appoint a nominee to a vacant ecclesiastical benefice) to the Priory, and does not necessarily imply previous dependency. The 1340 Taxatio Nonarum (Vanderzee 1807, 188), describes Ledewych as a chapel of Bitterley, and Caynham is recorded as paying Bitterley church a pension of 6s 9d. In addition, Youngs (1991, 381) tells us that Middleton was a chapel of Bitterley, and Upper Ledwich had been consolidated with it before 1535. On the ecclesiastical front, further comparison with Stanton Lacy is instructive. At Domesday, Stanton Lacy's church held 1½ hides of land and had two priests, along with its own villagers and ploughs. This puts it into the category of superior church at this date (Blair 1985, 106, 108), and it is

1.4.7

1.4.8

1.4.9

WA Project No. 77501

2

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

highly probable that it was an Anglo-Saxon minster church. It is recorded as having a chapel at Hopton Cangeford (Youngs 1991, 387). In addition architecturally, Stanton Lacy church is a significant Anglo-Saxon structure (Taylor and Taylor 1980, 569-571), which had been cruciform before the Norman Conquest, another characteristic pointing to minster status. 1.4.10 As both Bitterley church and its priest are mentioned at Domesday, this is perhaps significant. The Shropshire Domesday mentions 53 priests and 20 places having churches, out of 440 entries for the county (Saunders 1954, 115, 127, 149) and of these 20 places with churches, by Blair's criteria (1985), 16 were superior churches. Nearly all the churches mentioned in Shropshire, therefore, were superior, and it seems probable that Bitterley church was significant too in 1086. Its medieval history also supports this argument. It had two chapels, Middleton and Upper Ledwich, and it received pensions from another two churches, Hope Bagot and Caynham, so Bitterley had at least four churches dependent on it, and with its value of over £20 in 1291 it shows many of the classic signs of early superior status of a church of this date (Hall 2000, 4). The current church of St Mary is a c. 12th to 13th century building with 17th and 19th century alterations, constructed in stone rubble with ashlar dressing. The church consists of a chancel, nave with a southern porch and a west tower. Associated with the church is c. 14th century standing stone cross with an octagonal shaft and a mutilated four-niched lantern head on a stepped hexagonal base.

1.4.11

1.4.12

Early Medieval Bitterley 1.4.13 In 1165 Roger de Esketot held the Manor as a Knight’s fee, and he granted 4s rent out of his mill of Butterleg to Haughmond Abbey (founded in 1135) near Shrewsbury between 1173 and 1177. His descendant Roger de Bitterley was succeeded by Stephen de Bitterley, who in 1240 was recorded has holding one Knight’s fee in Buterleg of Walter de Lacy. 1.4.14 At the Inquest of Overs Hundred in 1255 Sir Stephen de Butterleg was Foreman of the Jury; it is recorded that he held three hides in Bitterley of Dame Margery de Lacy, by the service of one knight, and did suit/service at the hundred (court). In 1260-63 he was the King’s Escheator in Shropshire and in 1266 he had a royal licence to hunt in all the forests of Shropshire. In March 1316 another Stephen de Butterleg was certified as Lord of the Vill of Bitterley and in 1324 Stephen and Roger de Butterley, men-at-arms, were summoned to attend council at Westminster (Leach 1891).

1.4.15

Later Bitterley 1.4.16 It is clear that there was an early medieval church and manor in Bitterley, but by the mid 17th century there were two manors, the closest to the village being the moated complex at Park Hall Farm (SAM No.110959). The site was occupied by a brick mansion dated to 1620-30, but may have earlier origins. The second manor, located some 1.5km to the east, is Bitterley Court, adjacent to the church of St Mary. The current house was constructed c. 1655 and was occupied by the Walcott family; it was remodelled in the

WA Project No. 77501

3

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

18th century. In 1899 the Walcotts sold Bitterley Court to the Wheeler family who occupy it to this day. 1.5 1.5.1 Previous Archaeological Work There is some anecdotal evidence and local understanding that an archaeological investigation was carried out on the site of the putative DMV in the 1920s, although no published records have been found that relate to this. The Bitterley Archaeological Team (BAT) was formed in 2007 by June Buckard as an after-school group for Year 5 and 6 pupils at the Bitterley C of E Primary School. In 2009, the BATs approached Peter Reavill (Finds Liaison Officer for Shropshire and Herefordshire) to suggest investigating the earthworks immediately to the West of Bitterley Court. A limited walk-over survey of the earthworks was undertaken by Reavill, and a subsequent small geophysical survey was undertaken by Wolverhampton Archaeological Group (WAG). The BATs excavated two trenches over the earthworks of the presumed DMV. A third trench targeted an east-west linear anomaly from the geophysical survey, and revealed a dense patch of stone with no mortar. Pottery recovered was dated to AD 1100-1300 and a small metal gilded object was identified as medieval. A number of finds have been reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) from around Bitterley Court and the village. These include a Roman coin; medieval (11th-13th century) finger ring fragments; a medieval coin (1209), a medieval buckle, a medieval seal matrix, a 17th century key, 18th century coins, and a 17th/18th century shoe buckle. There has been no published record of the work carried out by BATs, and the metal detected finds have been recorded through the normal channels of the PAS. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES A project design for the work was compiled (Videotext Communications 2011), providing full details of the research aims and methods. A brief summary is provided here. The project aimed to carry out a limited programme of non-intrusive investigations and intrusive excavation. The results of this work will also form an important resource for the future management of the site. The following general research aims were addressed: x x x To characterise the archaeological resource over key areas of the site and address the significance of surviving archaeological remains To extend understanding of the potential medieval site To contribute to the broader date sequence of the site.

1.5.2

1.5.3

1.5.4

1.5.5

2 2.1.1

2.1.2

2.1.3

WA Project No. 77501

4

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

3 3.1 3.1.1

METHODOLOGY Geophysical Survey Prior to the excavation of evaluation trenches, geophysical survey was carried out over five areas (Areas 1-5) using magnetic (gradiometer) survey and ground-penetrating radar (GPR). The survey grid was tied in to the Ordnance Survey grid using a Trimble real time differential GPS system. Domesday The Domesday entry for the manor of Bitterley and the surrounding area was reassessed by Teresa Hall; the resulting information has been incorporated into the ‘Historical Background’ (see above, Section 1.4), and also the concluding discussion (see below, Section 6). Landscape and Earthwork Survey A topographical survey of the earthworks to the west of Bitterley Court was undertaken by Emma Wood of GSB Prospection and a landscape survey and analysis of the cartographic evidence was undertaken by Alex Langlands. A summary of the findings has been incorporated into this report. Test Pits A series of 18 test pits was excavated through the modern village (Test Pits 1-16, 19-20). The test pits were excavated in 0.1m spits through the topsoil and subsoil. Where archaeological deposits or features were observed these were investigated. The purpose of these test-pits was primarily to facilitate the recovery of pottery and datable finds. Analysis of the distribution patterns of these finds could then be used to provide information about the development of the village. The test pits were recorded in the field using a basic test pit recording sheet; listing the spits and the finds that came from them. This was to show the importance of recording archaeological features, deposits and finds to those involved with the community project. Each test pit was subsequently recorded using Wessex Archaeology’s pro forma record sheets with a unique numbering system for individual contexts incorporating the spit numbers. Evaluation Trenches Investigation of the earthworks to the west of Bitterley Court was undertaken by the excavation of three trenches (Trenches 30, 31 and 32) of varying sizes, targeted on geophysical anomalies. A fourth trench (Trench 33) was positioned to the north of Bitterley Court (Figure 1). The trenches were excavated using a combination of machine and hand digging. All machine trenches were excavated under constant archaeological supervision and ceased at the identification of significant archaeological remains or at natural geology if this was encountered first. When machine excavation had ceased all trenches were cleaned by hand and archaeological deposits investigated.

3.2 3.2.1

3.3 3.3.1

3.4 3.4.1

3.4.2

3.5 3.5.1

3.5.2

WA Project No. 77501

5

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

3.5.3

At various stages during excavation the deposits were scanned by a metal detector and signals marked in order to facilitate investigation. The excavated up-cast was scanned by metal detector. All archaeological deposits within the trenches were recorded using the same pro forma record sheets used for the test pits with a unique numbering system for individual contexts. Trenches were located using a Trimble Real Time Differential GPS survey system and Trimble Total Station. All archaeological features and deposits were planned at a scale of 1:20 with sections drawn at 1:10and 1:20. All principal strata and features were related to the Ordnance Survey datum. A full photographic record of the investigations and individual features was maintained, utilising digital images. The photographic record illustrated both the detail and general context of the archaeology revealed and the Site as a whole. At the completion of the work, all trenches were reinstated using the excavated material, although some of the test pits remained open so that the BATs could continue their investigations. The work was carried out on the 19th-22nd April 2011. The archive and all artefacts were subsequently transported to the offices of Wessex Archaeology in Salisbury where they were processed and assessed for this report. Copyright This report may contain material that is non-Wessex Archaeology copyright (e.g. Ordnance Survey, British Geological Survey, Crown Copyright), or the intellectual property of third parties, which we are able to provide for limited reproduction under the terms of our own copyright licences, but for which copyright itself is non-transferrable by Wessex Archaeology. You are reminded that you remain bound by the conditions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 with regard to multiple copying and electronic dissemination of the report. RESULTS Introduction Details of individual excavated contexts and features, the full geophysical report (GSB 2011), the summary of the landscape and earthwork survey and details of artefactual and environmental assessments, are retained in the archive. Detailed descriptions of the excavated sequences and structures can be found in Appendix 1. Geophysical Results

3.5.4

3.5.5

3.5.6

3.5.7

3.6 3.6.1

4 4.1 4.1.1

4.2

Introduction and Summary 4.2.1 Geophysical survey was carried out over five areas (Areas 1-5) using magnetic (gradiometer) survey and ground penetrating radar (Figures 1-4)

WA Project No. 77501

6

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

4.2.2

Site conditions over the large fields (Areas 2 and 3) were good as the ground cover consisted of short pasture, as too were the small areas around Bitterley Court. Magnetic data were collected within the grounds of the 17th century manor house (Area 1); however the ground was overgrown, wet and contained a large spread of brick rubble which complicated survey. Topographic data were collected within Area 3; in an attempt to better understand the earthworks across site, the gradiometer data have been placed over the results (Figure 3B). Magnetic Survey (Figure 2) Small scale ferrous anomalies (‘iron spikes’) are present throughout the data; these responses are characteristic of small pieces of ferrous debris in the topsoil and are commonly assigned a modern origin. While the most prominent of these are highlighted on the interpretation diagram, they are not discussed in the text below unless considered relevant.

4.3 4.3.1

Area 1 4.3.2 This area is recorded as a medieval moated manor with a later, 17th century dwelling in ruins, lying at the centre of the site. Results here were indeed indicative of building debris and bricks were scattered over the surface. There is no indication of the northern section of the moat, probably due to magnetic responses from the building, but if it had existed it is considered that there would be some indication within the magnetic data.

Areas 2 and 3 4.3.3 Numerous earthworks within Area 3 were initially thought to relate to a medieval village; magnetic data were collected over a large area, but these produced no obvious traces of occupation. The majority of anomalies in both areas relate to probable natural origins, such as geology and differences with the soils. 4.3.4 4.3.5 Negative trend (A) on first glance was thought to be showing wall foundations. In the centre of Area 3 is a large area of increased magnetic response; again, this is likely to be due to the geology of the site as outcrops of stone could be seen on the surface. This area also lies within a dip in the topography (see Figure 3). Bands of magnetic disturbance (B) follow the topography, as do trends (C) and the swathes of natural responses (D); (B) and (C) may be indicative of former field divisions. There are a few linear trends within both areas which are likely to be of postmedieval settlement, or they could represent past ploughing or field management. It was thought that a stock building was present within Area 3 and these features may also be associated with this.

4.3.6

4.3.7

WA Project No. 77501

7

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

4.4 Area 4 4.4.1

GPR Survey (Figure 4)

In the western part of Area 4, a zone of increased response and a rectilinear anomaly (1) may be evidence of a building platform with responses to the north-west possibly related; certainly the adjacent 'quiet' zone has a distinctly rectilinear limit as defined by trend (2). The responses within the region of the potential building platform have a reasonable depth extent, but the presumed natural anomalies recorded through this survey area are quite strong and so there is some question over the legitimacy of this interpretation. Anomaly (1) corresponded with (A) from the gradiometer survey (see Figure 2). The data from the eastern part of Area 4 were dominated by responses from a former well, pipework crossing the lawn and the original line of Bitterley Court's ha-ha. Given that the lawn of the house is considerably higher than the fields to the west, it seems likely that the majority of other responses are from material imported to level the ground.

4.4.2

Area 5 4.4.3 The band of response across the middle of the survey area runs from a gate in the east towards the gap between Bitterley Court and an out-building; this is likely to be consolidation material to firm the ground – there may also be services running through this zone. Similarly, responses along the eastern boundary may be a drain or simply an effect of the adjacent fence. The only anomalies that might be of interest are the rectilinear responses (3) which do not look natural; however, they could be previous garden features rather than of more significant archaeological origins. 4.5 4.5.1 Conclusions Magnetic data from between Bitterley village and Bitterley Court show no apparent signs of medieval occupation. Natural responses dominate the data and, when combined with the topographic survey, it can be seen that the majority of earthworks are not related to a former Deserted Medieval Village. The most that can be said is that they are natural undulations which may have been remodelled in places by landscaping and agriculture with the potential for at least one building platform in the middle of the field immediately in front of Bitterley Court. The GPR survey has identified a former well, pipework and the previous line of Bitterley Court's ha-ha in the grounds of the house. However, these features were already known about and the only potential new archaeological features are the possible building platform also identified by the magnetic survey, and some rectilinear responses to the north-east of the house; that said, the latter are far from convincing and could be former garden features or remnants of a previous out-building. Magnetic survey over the site of a medieval moated manor was compromised by the brick remnants of a 17th century house that was latterly built on the site. No traces of a moat were found on the north side of the building.

4.5.2

4.5.3

WA Project No. 77501

8

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

4.6

Landscape and Earthwork Survey

Introduction 4.6.1 The topographical survey was undertaken in the field to the west of Bitterley Court to try and help in the interpretation of the geophysical survey, while a landscape study was investigated the surrounding area. No traces of the putative DMV could be traced in the results of the topographical survey (Figure 3) and the earthworks appear to be entirely the result of divisions of land for agricultural purposes. Mill locations 4.6.2 There are two sites within Bitterley which are potentially the location of the mill mentioned in 1165 (at that time owned by Roger de Esketot). Mill Farm on the western extent of Bitterley is one possible location, and sits beneath the confluence of Bitterley Brook and Benson's Brook (see Fig 5). To the east of Mill Farm is a small paddock and to the immediate north of this are the remains of a mill pond surviving as a series of raised banks. 4.6.3 Benson Brook was redirected in the 19th century to take water away from the railway works set up to carry stone from the quarries on the Clee to the east. Benson Brook fed into Bitterley Brook and thus this brook now represents the flow of two spring lines. Mill Croft, on the north-eastern side of the village (see Fig 5) is the second possible location of a mill site, as a ditch can be traced leading from an extensive arrangement of ponds defined by a series of large banks, located just to the north of Bitterley Brook. The possible presence of two mills suggests considerable cereal production in the area, but it is highly probable that the two mills (if both existed) were not contemporary.

4.6.4

Ridge and Furrow 4.6.5 Ridge and furrow field systems were observed on aerial photographs from the 1940s of the area to the immediate north-east of Lowbridge Farm, in the vicinity of Lower Court Farm, and in a field immediately east of the modern village of Bitterley. These features seemed very much to radiate from these farms and the village rather than to be related to Bitterley Court. 4.6.6 The place-name 'Butter-ley' (where 'ley' means pasture or grassland) suggests a settlement whose primary source of wealth derived from dairy cattle. A system of transhumance may have existed between the rich meadowland found around the lower reaches of Bitterley Brook and Dog Ditch and the hill pasture of the Clee – to both of which the modern parish of Bitterley has access. Test Pits

4.7

Introduction 4.7.1 Bitterley village was investigated with the excavation of 18 1m by 1m handdug test pits, recorded as TP1-16 and TP19-20. Test pits 17 and 18 were not excavated. The locations of TPs 1-16 were agreed prior to the commencement of works to provide adequate coverage of the village. TP19 was positioned following the success of TP16, and TP20 was positioned adjacent to the Cock Fighting Pit (SAM 110956) following discussions with

WA Project No. 77501

9

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Bill Klemperer (English Heritage Inspector of Ancient Monuments) (Figure 1). 4.7.2 The table below lists the locations of the Test Pits and those which produced medieval pottery: Test Pit 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Address Stancroft, Clee Stanton Road Glebe House, Clee Stanton Road St Anne’s Cottage, Clee Stanton Road Carpenter’s Cottage, Clee Stanton Road 2 Clee Stanton Road 1 Clee Stanton Road Meadow View, Clee Stanton Road Millcroft, Clee Stanton Road Windsor Court, Clee Stanton Road Bitterley House Bridge Cottage Bitterley C of E Primary School 1 Orchard Lea Three Ways Duces Cottage Lower Court Farm No Test Pit No Test Pit Lower Court Farm Adjacent to Cock Fighting Pit (SAM No. 110956) TOTAL MEDIEVAL POTTERY Medieval pottery number/weight (g) 2/8 1/13 1/8 2/17 14/78 9/31 2/7 11/40 7/29 3/6 8/35 9/25 69/297

4.7.3

Test Pits 6, 9, 12 and 16 revealed external metalled surfaces comprised of flat local dew stone flags and cobbles set directly into the natural clay geology (Figure 6, Plates 1-4); it appears that initially the natural geology was utilised as a surface and later consolidated with the addition of further stones. In TP6 the surface (604) had been cut by a stone-lined drain (cut 605, stone lining 609). It is unclear to what the drain related, but is likely to be post-medieval in date. Surface 902 in TP9 was possibly associated with the site of an earlier dairy and piggery located adjacent to the school, while surface 1602 in TP16 was an external surface at the front of Lower Court Farm. TP12, within the grounds of Bitterley School, also revealed a compact metalled surface (1204) which may have been part of a trackway leading roughly north-east – south-west from the junction of the three roads at Three

4.7.4

4.7.5

WA Project No. 77501

10

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Ways Cottage, or possibly part of metalled yard surface to the rear of Three Ways Cottage. 4.7.6 4.7.7 Test Pits 2 and 4 contained modern drainage features, comprising plastic piping and sheeting. Test Pits 1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19 and 20 revealed similar stratigraphic sequences of topsoil overlying subsoil, which sealed the natural geology. In TP3 the topsoil lay directly over the natural geology. No archaeological features were observed in these ten test pits. Ten of the 18 test pits produced medieval pottery sherds within the mixed overlying deposits of topsoil and subsoil (Figure 5). Only TP12 contained both archaeological remains (in the form of surface 1204) and medieval pottery, although the two were not directly associated. In all of the test pits producing medieval pottery, these sherds can be considered as residual finds. Evaluation Trenches

4.7.8

4.8

Trench 30 (Figure 7) 4.8.1 Trench 30 incorporated the BATs trench which was targeted upon the WAG geophysical survey, and lay over an obvious east-west aligned earthwork. 4.8.2 A substantial rubble deposit 3005 (which contained two sherds of medieval pottery) was observed beneath the topsoil. This was investigated through the excavation of a number of sondages. The stratigraphically earliest deposit observed was the natural geology 3008, a head deposit, sealed by 3004/3006 interpreted as a possible buried ground surface, which produced seven sherds of medieval pottery of probable 12th/13th century date. Cutting 3006/3004 was the foundation trench for wall 3003 which had collapsed, giving rise to rubble deposit 3005 (Figure 7, Plates 5-6). No direct dating was recovered for wall 3003, apart from the terminus post quem given by the medieval sherds from the possible buried ground surface.

4.8.3

Trench 31 (Figure 8) 4.8.4 Trench 31 was positioned across a possible building platform as identified in the landscape and topographical survey, and two clear wall lines visible on the surface. 4.8.5 The structure revealed was roughly east-west aligned with the northern and southern walls recorded as 3117 and 3115 respectively (Figure 8, Plate 7). The floor of the structure was formed from the natural geology 3105/3107 which had been consolidated with the addition of flat slabs of local stone to create a rough surface 3104/3118. A single sherd of Romano-British oxidised ware was recovered pressed into the top of the natural geology 3105/3107 but was associated with post-medieval CBM. Rubble deposit 3106 was taken to be the remains of a collapsed central dividing wall, although no trace of the wall itself was observed.

4.8.6

WA Project No. 77501

11

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

4.8.7

Cutting surface 3118 was a shallow drain (3112). The drain fill (3113) was identical to the material (3103/3119) which overlay floor surface 3104/3118 – it was identified as decayed and well rotted manure. This led to the conclusion that the structure was a cow shed with a possible central wall separating the cow stalls. Following the abandonment of the cow shed, the southern wall had been cut by another drain (3110).

4.8.8

Trench 32 (Figure 9) 4.8.9 Trench 32 was positioned across a clear terrace edge, aligned roughly eastwest and sloping south to north. The 1766 estate map shows that the road leading to Bitterley Court originally passed to the west of the main house before being diverted to the east sometime before 1840. Trench 32 was positioned to investigate the possible remains of the rear of building plots which may have fronted on to this earlier road. The trench also covered anomalies (A) and (1) from the geophysical survey (Figures 2 and 4). 4.8.10 The underlying geology (3205) was sealed by a layer of reworked and disturbed geology (3204). Overlying this was a possible buried ground surface (3203), and this was sealed in turn by a substantial rubble deposit (3202) (Figure 9, Plate 8). It was unclear from what the rubble deposit was derived as no trace of walling or mortar to imply a structure was observed within the trench. It is possible the rubble represents a flattened clearance cairn, formed by the deliberate movement of large stones to the edge of the field to facilitate ploughing. Rubble deposit 3202 contained 58 sherds of medieval pottery (12th to 13th century), and further medieval sherds were recovered from the overlying topsoil.

Trench 33 (Figure 10) 4.8.11 Trench 33 was located to the north-east of Bitterley Court and to the southeast of St Mary’s Church, in an area of garden. 4.8.12 The natural clay 3310 was sealed by a reworked or redeposited natural layer (3306), which was interpreted as possible levelling material laid down during the construction of the current house in the mid 17th century. Pottery recovered from 3306 contained a chronological mixture of Romano-British, medieval post-medieval sherds, the latest dating to the 17th or early 18th century. Sealing 3306 was a possible buried ground surface (3305) which was in turn sealed beneath a possible landscaping layer (3304). A small modern post-hole (3308) was revealed beneath 3304 and 3305. Sealing 3304 was 3302 (which contained a mix of medieval, post-medieval and modern finds) and this was cut by a modern service trench (3303). FINDS Introduction Finds were recovered from the 18 hand-dug test pits within Bitterley village; and from four trenches excavated to the east, over an area of earthworks

4.8.13 4.8.14

5 5.1 5.1.1

WA Project No. 77501

12

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

thought to be the remains of the medieval village (Trenches 30, 31 and 32), and to the north of Bitterley Court (Trench 33). The test pits produced most of the finds. Overall, the assemblage is of medieval to post-medieval date, with a handful of earlier items (prehistoric and Romano-British). 5.1.2 All finds have been quantified by material type within each context, and the totals by test pit/trench are given in Table 1, grouping quantities from all test pits together; the test pit finds are broken down in Table 2. All finds have subsequently been at least visually scanned, in order to provide basic identifications, and to ascertain the date range where possible. Given the modern date of many of the finds from test pits, and their provenance largely within topsoil contexts, a rigorous discard policy has been adopted (see below). This section discusses the finds briefly within their local and regional context, and assesses their potential to contribute to an understanding of the Site, with particular reference to the history and development of the village of Bitterley in the centuries following Domesday. Material from test pits The overwhelming majority of the finds recovered from test pits were of postmedieval date and, from the pottery and glass recovered, mainly belonging to the modern period, i.e. 19th or 20th century. This material will not, therefore, be described in any detail here; full details of the finds from individual contexts within each test pit are held in the project archive. The most commonly encountered material types within the test pits were pottery; ceramic building material (CBM); which includes brick, tile and drainpipe; and glass, including both vessel and window fragments. Large quantities of CBM were encountered in TPs 8 (5.5 kg, largely brick fragments) and 9 (4.7kg), and the highest totals of pottery came from TPs 12 (281 sherds) and 8 (278 sherds). TP8 also produced the highest quantity of glass (95 pieces). Much of the material from TP8 came from layer 804, which incorporated cinders and may have been a dump of hearth debris.

5.1.3

5.2 5.2.1

5.2.2

Pottery 5.2.3 The breakdown of the pottery assemblage from the test pits is given in Table 3, which shows that more than half of the assemblage (by sherd count) dated to the 19th or 20th century, although earlier post-medieval wares are also well represented, and there are 69 medieval sherds, and at least two possible Romano-British sherds. Omitting the modern wares, the pottery was distributed across 17 test pits, with the highest total from TP12 (77 sherds). 5.2.4 Two sherds have been tentatively identified as Romano-British, both oxidised wares, one from TP4, and one from TP10. However, the similarity to the medieval sandy wares is very close, and the identification is by no means certain, but it may the case that other Romano-British sherds remain unidentified amongst the medieval wares. All of the 69 medieval sherds are in sandy fabrics, ranging from medium- to fine-grained in texture, and including both reduced and oxidised examples.

5.2.5

WA Project No. 77501

13

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

There is one jug strap handle, and a small number of glazed body sherds probably also derive from jug forms. Otherwise the only diagnostic pieces comprise rims from jar or bowl forms, in a variety of rim profiles (mainly infolded rather than simple everted and expanded: see Barker 1970, 30). The likely date range for the medieval sherds is later 12th to 13th century; parallels can be seen, for example, in the assemblages from Richard’s Castle and Brockhurst (ibid., figs. 2, 26). All of the medieval pottery can be considered as residual in the contexts in which it occurred, a provenance which is supported by the small sherd size, indicating considerable reworking (mean sherd weight is 4.3g). 5.2.6 As might be expected, the early post-medieval wares consist largely of local coarsewares, supplemented by other wares from the Staffordshire production centre (blackwares, slip coated wares, slipwares, mottled wares, stonewares); most appear to be 17th century or later. Factory produced wares appear from the early 18th century (white salt glaze, creamware, pearlware and finally refined whitewares), supplying tablewares.

Ceramic Building Material (CBM) 5.2.7 The only other category in which medieval finds were recognised is the CBM, which included fragments of medieval roof tiles, although in most cases the distinction between medieval and post-medieval tiles was not clear-cut, and the two have not been separately quantified. All of the medieval finds from the test pits can be regarded as residual. Metalwork 5.2.8 Of interest amongst the metalwork (which largely comprises iron nails and other structural items) are a large cast iron vessel, probably a cauldron (TP12); and an early post-medieval plated copper alloy spoon bowl (TP11). Animal bone 5.2.9 Little can be gleaned from the animal bone assemblage (144 fragments once conjoins are taken into account). Small amounts of kitchen and table waste appears to have been deposited into small midden heaps in back gardens during the post-medieval and early modern period. Most (80%) of the bone fragments are unidentifiable to either species or element. The identified fraction of the assemblage is almost entirely made up of bones from domestic species (Table 5), and approximately 83% of identified bones belong to livestock species. Less common species include domestic fowl and rabbit. The butchery noted on some cattle bones are typical of the type seen on post-medieval and early modern material. In the more recent past saws were used to portion carcass into smaller meat joints and this is precisely the type of butchery seen on the bones from Bitterley. 5.3 Material from trenches

Pottery 5.3.1 The pottery from the trenches covers the same date range as that from the test pits, but with a much higher proportion of medieval wares (87% of the total by sherd count). The breakdown of the assemblage is given in Table 4.

WA Project No. 77501

14

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

5.3.2

Three sherds were identified as Romano-British (one greyware and two oxidised wares); as for the test pits, these identifications are tentative. All three are small and abraded; none is diagnostic. Most of the medieval pottery recovered from the Site came from the trenches (a total of 206 sherds), in particular Trenches 30 and 32. The condition of these sherds, although still abraded, was better than that from the test pits (mean sherd weight 8.7g), and indicates less post-depositional movement. Nevertheless, most sherds derived from post-medieval contexts – 145 sherds from topsoil in Trenches 30 and 32. Medium- to fine-grained sandy wares, as seen in the test pits, are predominant; some are visibly micaceous. There are also a few sherds of a coarser fabric with a gritty texture, containing quartz and sandstone inclusions. Diagnostic sherds include rims from jars and bowls, again with a range of profiles, mainly infolded, although the ‘gritty’ wares include at least one rim with an expanded profile and curvilinear combing on top of the rim and on the body. There are also strap handles from jugs, with stabbed or slashed decoration. One body sherd from Trench 30 (possible buried ground surface 3006) has a small, post-firing perforation, for an unknown purpose. There is a suggestion that this group of material from the trenches includes some which is of earlier date than that from the test pits; a broader date range of 12th to 13th centuries is suggested. Post-medieval wares were not much in evidence within the trenches (see Table 4), but those that were recovered show a date range spanning the post-medieval to modern periods (17th to 20th century).

5.3.3

5.3.4

5.3.5

Ceramic Building Material (CBM) 5.3.6 In comparison to the test pits, little CBM was recovered from the trenches. The small assemblage included medieval and post-medieval flat roof tile, one piece of post-medieval field drain and a modern glazed wall tile. Also present, however, were two pieces of undoubted medieval date: a fragment from a decorated floor tile (Trench 32 topsoil) and a fragment from a glazed, crested ridge tile (layer 3306). The decorated floor tile fragment is small, but the design appears to be that of the arms of England (three leopards passant guardant); the tile is probably later 13th or 14th century in date, as is the ridge tile. Fired Clay 5.3.7 Two fragments of fired clay from Trench 32 topsoil are partially vitrified, and may have derived from hearth lining, although of unknown date. Glass 5.3.8

Most of the glass from the trenches came from layer 3302 in Trench 33, which appears to be a late 19th or early 20th century dump of domestic debris. This dump included a complete large green beer bottle, five complete, or near complete, colourless cylindrical medicine bottles, marked with ‘teaspoon’ gradations, four other small, colourless, squat cylindrical bottles, probably also pharmaceutical, and an almost complete ‘Vaseline’ jar, as well as fragments of other modern bottles and jars.

WA Project No. 77501

15

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

5.3.9

Glass from Trench 32 (from topsoil) was also modern, while the fragments from Trench 30 include 17th/18th century bottle glass and, from Trench 31, a small fragment from a thin-walled vessel, probably a 16th/17th century fineware drinking vessel.

Metalwork 5.3.10 There is no reason to suppose that any of the metalwork from the trenches is earlier in date than post-medieval. The copper alloy objects comprised three clock cog wheels, a peg, a tap, a small stud, and a short length of wire, while the iron consisted largely of nails, with one annular buckle, and two small (?furniture) handles. Other Finds 5.3.11 Other finds from the trenches comprise a few fragments of animal bone (cattle and other large mammal); two fragments of plain clay pipe stem; one prehistoric worked flint (residual in Trench 30 topsoil); one worked bone object (a small mustard spoon from layer 3302); and a single oyster shell (layer 3306). 5.4 5.4.1 Potential and further recommendations Much of the material from the test pits dug throughout Bitterley village proved to be of relatively recent date, although the recovery of a small medieval ceramic assemblage from the trenches dug within the earthworks to the west of Bitterley Court is of interest. Even here, however, more than half of the medieval pottery assemblage was residual in post-medieval contexts, and few other objects of medieval date were recovered. No further analysis is proposed; the finds have already been recorded to an appropriate archive level, and many have subsequently been discarded (see below). Discard policy Given the date range of finds from the test pits (post-medieval, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries), and their provenance, mainly from topsoil and subsoil contexts, with none coming from stratified contexts pre-dating the modern period, a rigorous discard policy was adopted. This was also extended to some of the categories from the trenches. Following quantification and initial scanning, the following categories of finds were discarded: x x Pottery: all modern industrial wares (refined whitewares, yellow wares, felspathic glazed stonewares, etc); CBM: all fragments, apart from those of intrinsic interest (any possible Romano-British fragments; medieval decorated floor tile, and medieval glazed ridge tile); Clay pipe: all plain stem fragments, and bowl fragments too small to date; Stone: all post-medieval/modern roofing slate;

5.4.2

5.5 5.5.1

x x

WA Project No. 77501

16

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

x

Glass: all fragments, apart from early post-medieval window and vessel glass (although excluding most undiagnostic 17th/18th century bottle glass); Metalwork: all iron discarded (mostly nails), with the exception of a few objects of interest (e.g. the profile of a cast vessel); copper alloy objects of obviously modern date (e.g. washers, tap, clock cog wheels, etc). Full details of all these discarded items are held in the project database. DISCUSSION The fieldwork carried out by Time Team within Bitterley was only partially successful in its stated aims, due to the paucity of archaeological finds and features. No in situ structures or deposits were observed in either Bitterley village or the earthwork field to the west of Bitterley Court which could be definitely dated to the medieval period. It was therefore particularly difficult to track the development of the village from Domesday to the present, let alone to determine the causes for the decline of the putative village at Bitterley Court. From the pottery recovered from the test pits, it was clear there had been activity within the area of the modern village during the later 12th to 13th centuries, concentrating in the southern part of the village. The quantities of medieval finds recovered were small overall (69 sherds of pottery, and a few fragments of ceramic roof tile), and in poor condition; all were residual in later contexts. The site of the mill mentioned in the documentary record in 1165 may have lain within the area of the modern village, and could have acted as a focus for settlement. However, there were no finds of later medieval material, which leaves a potential hiatus in the 14th and 15th centuries, and possibly also the 16th century. A higher concentration of medieval finds was recovered from the trenches around Bitterley Court, with pottery again of 12th to 13th century date, and possibly including wares dating earlier than those from the village test pits. However, the archaeological deposits within the earthwork field appeared to be entirely agricultural in origin, probably belonging to post-medieval farm buildings and enclosures, established on the natural topography and geological outcrops. The post-medieval remains lay beneath the managed landscape of the manor house parkland. The archaeological features and deposits comprised a possible cow shed, collapsed walls possibly representing further buildings, and a possible levelled clearance cairn, but there was no evidence of domestic dwellings. Documentary research as part of this project has proved more fruitful. Of particular interest is the inconsistency between the high status nature of the church of St Mary at Bitterley and the apparently low manorial status of the secular settlement. At Domesday, Bitterley was a very minor holding of Roger de Lacy whose main manor in this area was Stanton Lacy, some 10km away. The church, however, had a much higher status, possibly as a result of its pre-Norman foundations and associations with a possible Saxon Minster at Stanton Lacy.

x

5.5.2 6 6.1.1

6.1.2

6.1.3

6.1.4

WA Project No. 77501

17

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

6.1.5

One possible explanation for the inconsistency may be that it is a reflection of the British / Saxon ecclesiastical relationship in the area. Bassett (1992, 39) has suggested that when the Saxons arrived in the area they encountered an active British Church and, as the wall of the churchyard at Bitterley shows signs of being curvilinear, it may have been a British foundation which continued to act as a mother church even after the area was annexed by the Saxons. Bassett has shown that in the Welsh Borders, British churches often held onto to their earlier status (even if slightly diminished), despite the founding of new Saxon minsters such as that at Stanton Lacy. The place-name evidence also supports this argument, with Stanton being a high status Saxon central place-name (Hall 2000, 26) whilst Bitterley, or Buterlie, 'place where butter was made' (Ekwall 1960, 46), implies that it was a dependent member of a Saxon multiple estate. It is therefore likely there was no direct association between the current village of Bitterley and the Church of St Mary, and that they developed independently of each other. This does not, however, preclude the possibility that there was a medieval settlement close to the church which was subsequently abandoned. It is possible that there were two distinct hamlets; one centred on the current village which grew up around the mill recorded in 1165 (for which two possible locations have been found). An area of ridge and furrow lay to the east of this possible hamlet, while a second hamlet, probably broadly contemporary but perhaps with a slightly earlier origin, grew up around the church and the manor house. There are a number of possible reasons for disappearance of the hamlet around Bitterley Court, and the absence of pottery dated later than the 14th century could point to depopulation during the Black Death of 1348-50 being one factor. Recent work, however, has shown that some villages initially thought to have shrunk or disappeared due to the Black Death were in fact in decline well before the middle of the 14th century as a result of piecemeal enclosure of open fields leading to depopulation, decay and site abandonment (Jones 2010, 22). A similar process of shrinkage could also have taken place in the hamlet on the site of the modern village, as suggested by the lack of later medieval pottery, although here the presence of the later village suggests that settlement here never entirely died out. Subsequently (although at an unknown date) the lands around Bitterley Court were enclosed, giving rise to the earthworks visible today, within the managed parkland of the Court. It is likely that by the time of the emparkment of the area most traces of the medieval village had already been swept away, or left sealed beneath the agricultural buildings and enclosures. It is, however, also possible that the medieval finds identified in Trenches 30-33 relate solely to the Manor House and not to any deserted village. The 13th-14th century decorated floor tile from Trench 31 and the glazed, crested roof-tile from Trench 33 are indications of a high status structure; these items, as well as the other medieval finds, could represent waste dumped during renovations to the Manor House and not to domestic waste from an adjacent settlement.

6.1.6

6.1.7

6.1.8

6.1.9

6.1.10

WA Project No. 77501

18

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

6.1.11

Time Team were invited to Bitterley to help the Bitterley Archaeological Group (BATs) investigate the origins of their village and expand upon their earlier evaluation within the earthwork field. Time Team were unable to provide all the answers but were able to provide evidence of medieval activity within the modern village and around the Bitterley Court. Hopefully the BATs will be able take this information and build upon it with their continuing community project. RECOMMENDATIONS The results of the evaluation do not warrant detailed publication, but a summary will be submitted to the Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Historical Society, for inclusion in the annual round-up of archaeology in the county. ARCHIVE The project archive, which includes drawn plans and sections, photographs, written records, artefacts and digital data is currently held at the Wessex Archaeology offices under the project code 77501. It is intended that the archive should ultimately be deposited with Shropshire County Museum Service.

7 7.1.1

8 8.1.1

WA Project No. 77501

19

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

9 9.1

REFERENCES Bibliography Barker, P.A., 1970, The Medieval Pottery of Shropshire from the Conquest to 1400, Shropshire Archaeol. Soc. Bassett, S., 1992, Church and diocese in the West Midlands: the transition from British to Anglo-Saxon control, in J. Blair and R. Sharpe, Pastoral Care Before the Parish, Leicester Univ. Press, 13-40 Blair, J., 1985, Secular Minster Churches in Domesday Book, in P. Sawyer, Domesday Book: A Reassessment, London: Edward Arnold,104-42 Caley J., (ed.), 1834, Taxatio Ecclesiastica Angliae et Walliae, Auctoritate P. Nicholai IV, circa AD 1291, Record Commission, London Ekwall, E., 1960, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names, Oxford: Clarendon Press (4th ed.) GSB Prospection, 2011, Bitterley, Shropshire Geophysical Survey, unpubl. client rep. for Videotext Communications, ref. 2011/23 Hall, T., 2000, Minster Churches in the Dorset Landscape, Oxford: Brit. Archaeol. Rep. 304 Jones, R., 2010, Contrasting patterns of village and hamlet desertion in England, in C. Dyer and R. Jones R. (eds), Deserted Villages Revisited, Univ. Hertfordshire Press, 8-27 Leach F., 1891, County Seats of Shropshire Saunders, V.A., 1954, Shropshire, in H.C. Darby, and I.B. Terrett, The Domesday Geography of Midland England, Cambridge Univ. Press, 113-59 Taylor, H.M. and Taylor J., 1980, Anglo-Saxon Architecture, Volume 2, Cambridge Univ. Press Thorn, F. and Thorn, C. (eds), 1986, Domesday Book: Shropshire, Chichester: Phillimore Vanderzee, G., (ed.), 1807, Nonarum Inquisitiones in Curia Scaccarii Temp. Regis Edwardi III, Record Commission, London Videotext Communications, 2011, Proposed Archaeological Evaluation Bitterley, Shropshire NGR SO 567 772, unpublished project design Youngs, F., 1991, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England: volume 2, Northern England, Royal Historical Society, London.

WA Project No. 77501

20

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

9.2

Online resources Portable Antiquities accessed April 2011 Scheme database: http://finds.org.uk/database,

http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archsearch/record.jsf?titleId=78788 Church of St Mary http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archsearch/record.jsf?titleId=82491 Church yard cross of St Mary’s http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/archsearch/record.jsf?titleId=75070 Park Hall Farm moated manor

WA Project No. 77501

21

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Table 1: Finds totals by area (number / weight in grammes)

Material Pottery

Roman Medieval Post-Medieval Ceramic Building Material Fired Clay Clay Pipe Stone Flint Burnt Flint Glass Slag Metal (no. objs) Copper Alloy Lead Iron Worked Bone (no. objs.) Animal Bone Shell

TPs 1513/6095 2/4 69/297 1442/5794 415/17,557 81/139 19/941 1/7 342/1672 22/1121 280 17 263 1 144/693 -

Tr 30 121/1026 113/980 8/46 2/40 1/3 2/6 46 2 1 43 5/7 -

Tr 31 7/131 1/18 6/113 5/78 1/1 1/1 1/3 -

Tr 32 92/788 1/3 90/784 1/1 10/71 2/26 4/13 75/5877 43 1 42 10/13 -

Tr 33 16/205 1/7 3/30 12/168 7/459 1/2 17/2025 1/87 10 5 5 1 3/55 1/1

Total 1747/8241 3/28 275/2091 1469/6122 439/18,205 2/26 83/142 19/941 1/3 1/7 366/3717 98/6885 379 24 2 353 2 163/771 1/1

WA Project No. 77501

22

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Table 2: Breakdown of finds from Test Pits 1-20

CBM 1/6 1/1 3/6 4/9 3/5 9/12 11/29 9/726 1/143 1/40 2/17 1/2 3/29 15/1033 9/14 17/174 1/2 12/40 15/36 12/14 1 burnt flint 1 worked bone

Clay Pipe 1/1 Stone Slag Cu alloy 12 Fe 4 Fe 4 Fe 1 Cu; 11 Fe Other Finds

Animal Bone

TP TP1 TP2 TP3 TP4 TP5 TP6 TP7 TP8 TP9 TP10 TP11 TP12 TP13 TP14 TP15 TP16 TP19 TP20 TOTAL 8/12 2/2 6/5 13/19 11/20 6/14 3/4 4/23 4/43 1 Cu; 15 Fe 1 Cu; 21 Fe 6 Cu; 77 Fe 16 Fe 1 Cu; 11 Fe 4 Cu; 3 Fe 1 Cu; 31 Fe 28 Fe 1 Cu; 3 Fe 15 Fe 1 FCu; 9 Fe 3 Fe 17 Cu; 263 Fe 7/23 1/18 3/10 22/64 5/8 14/26 14/23 10/239 2/2 144/693 81/139 19/941 342/1672 22/1121

Pottery 48/112 6/17 27/133 160/282 30/60 107/287 68/164 277/2160 1/2 140/289 29/150 280/1161 125/561 74/242 70/199 52/214 9/36 10/26 1513/6095

7/262 1/13 56/1644 8/64 18/189 14/547 86/5542 53/4649 59/976 1/35 4/57 60/2775 8/102 4/219 35/406

Glass 6/20 3/8 1/2 42/151 6/13 15/30 6/19 95/809 15/47 27/39 2/4 36/212 38/164 9/32 27/82 12/35 2/5

414/17480

WA Project No. 77501

23

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Table 3: Pottery totals from Test Pits 1-20
Ware type All possible Roman wares All medieval wares Midlands Yellow ware Staffs blackware Coarse earthenware Staffs slipware Staffs stoneware Staffs mottled ware Notts stoneware Slip-coated ware Porcelain White saltglaze Refined redware Creamware Blackware/Jackfield-type Pearlware Bone china Modern stoneware Modern redware Refined whiteware Yellow ware Majolica TOTAL No. sherds 2 69 2 41 101 53 6 53 3 52 4 12 7 54 2 42 42 21 33 787 126 1 1513 Weight (g) 4 297 19 162 1720 379 40 116 9 234 10 51 81 163 7 109 78 181 211 1883 340 1 6095 Date Range Romano-British medieval C16/C17 C17-mid C18 C17-C19 mid C17 – c.1780 1680s – 1760s c.1680-1780 C18 C18 C18+ c.1720 – 1770+ c.1720 - C19 1740s – late C19 mid C18 – C19 1770s – mid C19 c.1800+ c.1800+ c.1800+ c.1800+ c.1800+ mid C19

WA Project No. 77501

24

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Table 4: Pottery from Trenches 30-33
Ware type All RB wares Medieval wares Sandy wares Gritty wares Staffs blackware Coarse earthenware Staffs slipware Staffs mottled ware Notts stoneware Slip-coated ware Creamware Pearlware Bone china Modern redware Refined whiteware White-slipped redware TOTAL No. sherds 3 206 190 16 1 4 1 3 2 3 3 1 1 1 6 1 236 Weight (g) 28 1794 Date Romano-British medieval

1 105 1 11 31 6 14 7 1 38 79 34 2150

C17-mid C18 C17-C19 mid C17-c.1780 c.1680-1780 C18 C18 1740s-late C19 1770s-mid C19 c.1800+ c.1800+ c.1800+ c.1800+

WA Project No. 77501

25

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Table 5: Number of identified specimens present (or NISP)
Species cattle sheep/goat pig domestic fowl rabbit Total identified large mammal medium mammal small mammal mammal bird Total unidentified Overall total NISP 13 8 4 3 2 30 24 14 1 73 2 114 144

WA Project No. 77501

26

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Appendix 1: Test pit and Trench Summaries
bgl = below ground level Test Pits 1-16 and 19-20
Test Pit 1 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 101 Topsoil 356376.37, 277621.63 155.35 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, mid brown-grey silty loam with 0-0.28 charcoal flecks and sub angular pebbles <0.03m. Incorporates spits 1-3. Redeposited or reworked natural layer, mid orange-brown clay 0.28-0.58m deposit. Incorporates spit 4. Natural geology, Head deposit, clay with large angular dew stone 0.58m+ blocks. Max Depth: 0.60m Coordinates Ground Surface

102 103

Layer Natural

Test Pit 2 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 201 Topsoil 202 Fill

203 204

Cut Natural

356320.25, 277593.87 153.42 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, mid brown-grey sandy silt. 0-0.28m Incorporates spits 1-3. Mid grey brown sandy silt fill of modern soak-away, drainage 0.28-0.50 structure 203. At the base of the feature was a layer of plastic. Incorporates spit 3. Cut of modern drainage channel or soak way feature, 0.28-0.50 contains plastic sheeting. Filled with 202. Natural geology, Head deposit, clay with large angular dew stone 0.38m+ blocks. Max Depth: 0.50

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 3 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 301 Topsoil 302 Natural

356324.00, 277569.31 153.76 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, mid grey-brown silty clay with 0-0.30m charcoal flecks. Incorporates spits 1 & 2. Natural geology, Head deposit, clay with large angular dew stone 0.30m+ blocks. Incorporates spits 3, 4 and 5 Max Depth: 0.50m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 4 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 401 Topsoil 402 403 404 Fill Cut Layer

356365.21, 277579.04 155.89 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, mid grey-brown silty loam with 0-0.20m mixed orange clay patches. Incorporates spits 1 and 2. Mixed mid grey and orange silty clay fill of backfilled service trench 0.20-0.68m+ for water pipe. Cut of modern water pipe trench which contains 402; the plastic 0.20-0.68m+ water pipe and backfill. Cuts through 404. Dark grey sandy silt layer with charcoal inclusions, possible 0.20-0.68m+ levelling layer associated with the construction of the house and landscaping of the garden. Incorporates spits 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Max Depth: 0.68m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 5 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 501 Topsoil 502 Fill

356350.82, 277526.40 155.35 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, mid grey silty clay. Incorporates 0-0.20m spits 1 and 2. Fill of modern drainage pipe trench 503. Incorporates spit 3. 0.20-0.95m Max Depth: 0.95m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

WA Project No. 77501

27

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

503 504

Cut Natural

Cut of modern drainage pipe trench which contains pipe and backfill 502. Mid orange-brown clay layer, probable natural. Incorporates spits 4, 5 and 6.

0.20-0.95m 0.20m+

Test Pit 6 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 601 Topsoil 602 603 604 Layer Layer Surface

605

Cut

606 607 608 609

Fill Fill Natural Structure

356380.36, 277522.77 156.27 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, mid grey silty clay. Incorporates 0-0.38m spits 1, 2, 3 and 4. Red-brown silty clay with charcoal and mortar inclusions. 0.38-0.45 Incorporates spit 5. Red-brown silty clay with common fragments of dew stone 0.45-0.50m creating rubble rich layer. Incorporates spit 6. Compact clay and flat dew stone surface, initially the natural 0.50m+ geology used as surface and consolidated as surface. Cut by drainage channel 605. Incorporates spit 6. Not fully excavated. Cut of drainage channel which is cut through surface 604. 0.50-0.65m Lined with unworked dew stone blocks 609 and infilled with 607 and 606. Upper fill of drainage channel 605, overlies 607. Red-brown silty 0.5-0.61m clay. Material deposited as a result of water action. Lower fill of channel 605, overlies stone lining 609 and sealed by 0.61-0.67m 606. Mid red sandy clay. Incorporates spit 7. Natural basal geology, head deposit of red-brown clay with sub 0.67m+ angular stone inclusions. Dew stone lining of drainage channel 605. Forming both edges to 0.07m thick the drain Max Depth: 0.75

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 7 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 701 Topsoil 702 703 Layer Natural

356294.55, 277504.66 153.86 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, dark grey silty clay. 0-0.60m Incorporates spits 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Mid grey-brown interface between 701 and 703. 0.60-0.76m Natural mid orange-brown clay with sub-angular stones. Head 0.76m+ deposit. Max Depth: 0.76

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 8 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 801 Topsoil 802 Layer

803 804 805

Layer Layer Natural

356323.62, 277487.27 156.27 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of garden, mid grey silty clay. Incorporates 0-0.21m spits 1 and 2. Very dark brown-black silty loam appears to be deliberately 0.21-0.51m dumped waste material, potentially as levelling or landscaping material. Incorporates spits 3, 4 and 5. Dump of redeposited natural geology, light yellow clay material. 0.51-0.60m Dump of cinders and brick rubble, possible evidence of hearth 0.60-0.80m clearance waste. Natural mid orange-brown clay with sub angular stones. Head 0.80m+ deposit. Max Depth: 0.90m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 9 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 901 Surface 902 Surface

356265.89, 277423.70 153.23 m aOD Depth (bgl) Modern surface of courtyard to house. Gravel and broken brick 0-0.20m and tile creating make up layer for the surface. Incorporates spit 1. Surface formed of poorly sorted dew stone cobbles creating yard 0.20-0.24m surface to area known on historical maps to have been set of Max Depth: 0.58m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

WA Project No. 77501

28

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

903

Natural

stables and piggery. Surface appears to be consolidated natural geology, with stone inserted to fill the voids in the natural head material. Incorporates spit 2. Natural geology revealed beneath surface 902, dark brownishgrey silty clay natural, but dirty.

0.24-0.58m+

Test Pit 10 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1001 Topsoil 1002 1003 Subsoil Natural

356317.66, 277435.07 155.29 m aOD Depth (bgl) Mid dark brownish-grey quite friable silty clay with charcoal flecks 0-0.18m with sub-angular small stones. Incorporates spits 1 and 2. Mid brownish-grey silty clay. Incorporates spit 3. 0.18m-0.30m Mid orange-brown with reddish hue. Silty clay with occasional 0.30m+ stone inclusions. Incorporates spit 4. Max Depth: 0.46m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 11 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1101 Topsoil

1102 1103

Layer Natural

356349.62, 277401.63 153.59 m aOD Depth (bgl) Mid dark brownish-grey quite friable silty clay with charcoal flecks 0-0.11 with sub-angular small stones. Topsoil and turf of garden. Incorporates spits 1. Subsoil mid to dark greyish-brown silty clay. Incorporates spits 2, 0.11-0.50m 3 and 4. Natural geology, reddish-brown silty clay head deposit. 0.50m+ Max Depth:

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 12 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1201 Topsoil 1202 Layer

1203 1204

Layer Surface

1205

Natural

356182.50, 277431.34 150.74 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area of school playing fields, dark brown 0-0.27m silty loam. Incorporates spits 1, 2 and 3. Dark grey-brown silty layer with occasional charcoal flecks. 0.27-0.54m Probable dumped material/levelling deposit to create playing fields. Incorporates spits 4, 5 and 6. Red clay layer which seals metalled surface 1204, appears to be 0.54-0.60m redeposited natural. Incorporates spit 7. Metalled surface; appears to have utilised the natural geology and 0.60-0.67m consolidated it to create a surface. Surface is potentially part of trackway shown on map. Mid orange-brown silt clay natural with common large dew stone 0.67m+ inclusions. Head deposit. Max Depth: 0.60m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 13 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1301 Topsoil 1302 1303 Subsoil Natural

356180.47, 277384.84 150.36 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area of lawn. Dark greyish-brown silty 0-0.31m clay. Incorporates spits 1, 2 and 3. Dark grey-brown silty clay which is more compact than the topsoil. 0.31-0.65. Incorporates spits 4, 5 and 6. Mid to dark reddish-brown silty clay. Head deposit. 0.65-0.70m+ Max Depth: 0.70m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 14 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1401 Topsoil 1402 1403 Subsoil Natural

356200.13, 277400.67 151.52 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area of lawn. Dark greyish-brown silty 0-0.14m clay. Incorporates spits 1and 2. Dark grey-brown silty clay which is more compact than the topsoil. 0.14-0.48m Incorporates spits 3, 4 and 5. Mid to dark reddish-brown silty clay. Head deposit. 0.48-0.56m Max Depth: 0.56m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

WA Project No. 77501

29

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

Test Pit 15 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1501 Topsoil 1502 1503 Subsoil Natural

356165.13, 277366.81 149.43 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area of lawn. Dark greyish-brown silty 0-0.38m clay. Incorporates spits 1, 2, 3 and 4. Dark grey-brown silty clay which is more compact than the topsoil. 0.38-0.59m Incorporates spits 5 and 6. Mid to dark reddish-brown silty clay. Head deposit. 0.59-0.60m+ Max Depth: 0.60

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 16 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1601 Topsoil 1602 1603 Surface Natural

356069.22, 277466.33 146.57 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area of lawn. Dark greyish-brown silty 0-0.26m clay. Incorporates spits 1, 2 and 3. External courtyard surface formed of poorly sorted dew stone 0.26-0.30m pebbles and flat slabs. Sits directly upon the natural geology. Natural geology, orange-brown silty clay with common small 0.30m+ stones. Head deposit. Max Depth: 0.30m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 19 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 1901 Topsoil 1902 1903 Subsoil Natural

356057.98, 277423.67 146.38 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area of lawn. Dark greyish-brown silty 0-0.10m clay. Incorporates spit 1. Very dark grey-brown silty clay which is more compact than the 0.11-0.46m topsoil. Incorporates spits 2, 3 and 4. Mid to dark reddish-brown silty clay. Head deposit. Incorporates 0.46m+ spits 5 and 6. Max Depth: 0.75m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Test Pit 20 Dimensions: 1m by 1m Context Description 2001 Topsoil

2002 2003

Layer Natural

356354.66, 277350.99 152.37 m aOD Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area under pasture adjacent to 0-0.26m Scheduled Adjacent Monuments the Cock Pit and Parkhall Farm. Mid brown silty clay loam. Incorporates spits 1 and 2. Mid reddish-brown silty clay, possible subsoil or reworked natural, 0.26-0.46m Incorporates spits 3 and 4. Natural mid reddish-brown clay with common dew stone 0.46m+ inclusions. Head deposit. Max Depth: 0.74m

Co ordinates Ground Surface

Trenches 30-33
Trench 30 Dimensions: 15m x 4m Context 3001 Description Topsoil 356958.27, 277229.74 356956.47, 277244.46 Max Depth: 1.20m Ground Surface 179.19-1.78.28m aOD south to north Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of pasture field. Field has not been 0-0.39m ploughed in living memory. Light to mid yellow-brown fine sandy loam with occasional flat dew stone inclusions. Seals 3002. Mid to light yellow-brown sandy loam. Material is the same as the 0.10m thick topsoil 3001 but removed from amongst 3005. Roughly east-west aligned collapsed wall. Constructed from irregular, unworked dew stone blocks. Appears to have been constructed in dry stone manner. Only the base of the wall, possibly the footing left. Wall revealed in earlier geophysical survey (WAG), and observed in trench excavated by the BATs. Centre Co ordinates

3002 3003

Layer Wall

WA Project No. 77501

30

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

3004 3005

Layer Layer

3006

Layer

3007 3008

Cut Natural

2.10m long, 0.70m wide and 0.20m high; two rough horizontal courses of stones observed. The extent of the wall implies an agricultural boundary as opposed to a building. Wall had collapsed, resulting in the spread of material forming 3005. Constructed within foundation trench 3007. Equivalent to 3006 observed in south-west corner. Rubble deposit composed of unworked dew stone blocks derived from wall 3003. Forms a spread c. 7m by 4m. This implies that 3003 was a substantial structure. Mid yellow-brown silty loam with occasional small dew stone pebbles. Possibly an old buried ground surface pre-dating wall 3003. 3006 cut by 3007, construction cut for wall 3003. Construction cut for wall 3003 which cuts through 3006. Natural geology. Mid to dark reddish-brown sandy clay, becoming more clayey towards the base of the deposit. Head deposit.

0.20m thick

0.15m thick

-

Trench 31

356868.75, 277259.08 356857.18, 277242.52 Dimensions: 20m x 1.7m max Max Depth: 0.40m Ground Surface 174.69-175.09m aOD (SWNE) Context Description Depth (bgl) 3101 Topsoil Current topsoil and turf of pasture field. Field has not been 0.26m thick ploughed in living memory. Light to mid yellow-brown fine sandy loam with occasional flat dew stone inclusions. Seals 3102 3102 Layer Very light yellow-grey, almost white, fine silty material. Initially 0.15m thick thought to be layer of lime scattered over decayed manure deposit 3103, but now identified as the upper levels of manure deposit 3103 which has dried out so much it has turned white. 3103 Layer Very dark brown-black organic, almost peaty material. Interpreted 0.25m thick as layer of decayed manure which had been allowed to dry out, upper level becoming desiccated and white, resulting in the formation of 3102. Layer 3103 lay directly upon floor surface 3104 and appeared to butt wall 3117. 3104 Surface Layer of local stones set into natural clay to form a rough floor. 0.10m thick Possibly formed directly from the natural geology but was consolidated with the addition of flat stones to create a useable surface. Rough nature and deposit 3103 suggest agricultural activity, most likely a cow shed of some kind. Set into the natural geology 3105 and butts wall 3115. 3105 Natural Mid grey clay, appears to be the natural geology with the stone 0.10m+ within it utilised as a floor surface and consolidated with the addition of 3104. 3106 Layer Large scale rubble deposit composed of unworked local dew 0.30m thick stone blocks of varying sizes. 5m by 1.40m in size and at least 0.30m thick. Probably derived from east-west wall, possibly an internal division within the cow shed, separating stalls to the north and south. Wall was not revealed due to time constraints. 3107 Natural Natural grey clay, equivalent to 3105 and sealed beneath 3118, floor surface similar to 3104. 3108 Natural Revealed at the southern end of the trench, external to the cow shed. Interpreted as natural geology, but this material is oxidised whereas the material within the cow shed (3105 and 3107) has been affected by the overlying decayed manure deposits 3103 and 3119. 3109 Layer Dark grey-brown silty loam, with common small dew stone 0.09m thick inclusions, possible buried ground surface cut by 3114 the construction cut for the southern cow shed wall 3115. Not shown in drawn section due to truncation by later feature 3110. Seals 3108. 3110 Cut Cut of modern feature which cuts cow shed wall 3115. 0.42m+ deep Feature associated with modern land drain fragments and infilled with redeposited clay. 1.40m long by 0.72m wide and

Centre Co ordinates

WA Project No. 77501

31

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

3111

Fill

3112

Cut

3113 3114 3115

Fill Cut Wall

3116 3117

Cut Wall

3118 3119

Surface Layer

0.42m+ deep. Mixed and mottled mid brown silty loam and mid yellow-brown clay. Mix of what appears to be topsoil material mixed with redeposited natural. Appears that what ever was within cut 3110 has been removed resulting in 3111 falling in. Modern land drain fragments recovered. Cut of drain associated with the cow shed, cuts floor surface 3118 and infilled with 3113. 1.40m long by 0.40m wide and 0.15m deep. Very dark brown-black organic, almost peaty material. Identical to 3103 and 3119. Decayed manure filling drain. Construction cut for wall 3115. Appears to cut possible old ground surface 3109. East-west possible southern wall to the cow shed, 1.40m long by 0.62m wide and c. 0.40m high. Constructed of unworked dew stone blocks bonded in mid brown clay in rough horizontal courses, appear as mortared dry-stone construction. Butted by floor surface 3104. Arbitrary cut assigned to foundation trench for wall 3117, the northern wall of the cow shed. East west possible northern wall to the cow shed. Only revealed in plan; 1.40m long by 0.55m wide, constructed of local dew stone blocks. Equivalent to 3104 and overlies 3107 and sealed by 3119. Equivalent to 3103, seals 3118 and sealed by 3101.

0.42m+ thick

0.15m deep

0.15m thick 0.40m high

-

-

Trench 32 Dimensions: 7.6m x 1.8m Context 3201 Description Topsoil

3202

Layer

3203

Layer

3204

Layer

3205

Natural

357020.48, 277232.80 357020.98, 277240.29 Max Depth: Ground Surface 181.75-181.25m aOD (south to north) Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of pasture field. Field has not been 0.24m thick ploughed in living memory. Mid yellow-brown fine sandy loam with occasional flat dew stone inclusions. Seals 3202. Rubble spread filling the whole trench, abundant dew stone 0.30m thick blocks; no apparent mortar, suggestive of collapsed stone wall or possible clearance cairn. Matrix consists of topsoil material in amongst the rubble. Sealed by 3201 and overlies 3203. Dark yellow-brown silty loam with occasional small local stone 0.22m thick fragments. Possible old ground surface. Sealed by 3203 and overlies 3204. Reworked and disturbed natural geology, mid yellow-reddish 0.23m brown sandy silt clay with occasional stones. Head deposit. The upper geology has been reworked slightly, most likely as a result of ploughing in antiquity. Sealed by 3204 and overlies 3205. Natural geology revealed in sondage excavated through 3204. Clean natural reddish clay head deposit.

Centre Co ordinates

Trench 33 Dimensions: Context 3301 3302 Description Topsoil Layer

3303

Cut

357119.80, 277293.30 357118.96, 277288.58 Max Depth: 183.73-183.59m aOD (north to south) Depth (bgl) Current topsoil and turf of area of lawned garden, light grey silty 0-0.15m loam with occasional small dew stone fragments. Dark grey-brown light silty loam with occasional small to medium 0.12m thick local dew stone fragments. Late Victorian/early 20th century domestic dumped layer; spread of glass, ceramics etc. cut through by modern service 3303, and seals 3304. Cut of modern service trench containing water pipe and electricity cable, cuts 3302, filled with 3307. Not excavated.

Centre Co ordinates Ground Surface

WA Project No. 77501

32

Bitterley, Shropshire Archaeological Evaluation and Assessment of Results

3304

Layer

3305

Layer

3306

Layer

3307 3308 3309 3310

Fill Cut Fill Natural

Spread of grey-brown silty loam with abundant large to medium stone fragments. Layer of stone rubble, possible levelling /landscaping material infilling depression. Sealed by 3302 and overlies 3305. Greyish-brown friable silty loam with small dew stones, possibly buried ground surface or just bioturbation between 3304 and 3306, with silt working its way through the stones of 3304 to settle above 3306 Mottled red-orange clay silt material. Appears to be redeposited natural, or reworked natural. Origin of this material is uncertain, possibly landscaping associated with the construction of Bitterley Court in the 17th century. Revealed in sondage Modern fill of 3303. Cut of small feature in south-east corner of trench, possible modern post hole. Not investigated. Fill of possible post-hole Natural reddish-brown clay head deposit.

0.16m thick

0.04m thick

0.3.7m thick

-

WA Project No. 77501

33

Plate 1: Stone-lined drain 605 in Test Pit 6, from the west

Plate 2: Surface in 902 in Test Pit 9, from the west

Plate 3: Surface 1204 in Test Pit 12, from the south

Plate 4: Surface 1602 in Test Pit 16, from the west

Date: Scale: Path:

27/02/12 n/a

Revision Number: Layout:

0 KL Y:\PROJECTS\77501TT\Drawing Office\Report Figs\eval\12_02\77501_eval_Fig06.cdr

Wessex Archaeology

This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Figure Caption?

Figure 6

Trench 30

3005

3006

Wall 3003

3108

3005

Plate 5: Trench 30, view from south

3005

3002

0

5m

Plate 6: Trench 30, standing wall 3003, view from south
Date: Evaluation trench Scale: Path: 27/02/12 1:125 Revision Number: Illustrator: 0 SDT/KL
Y:\PROJECTS\77501TT\Drawing Office\Report Figs\eval\12_02\77501_eval_f6.dwg

Wessex Archaeology

This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Trench 30: plan and photographs

Figure 7

Wall 3117

3104

3105

3106
po ss ibl e wa ll

Trench 31

3113

3112

3107

3110

Wall 3115

3108

0

5m

Plate 7: Trench 31, view from south-west

Date: Evaluation trench Scale: Path:

27/02/12 1:125

Revision Number: Illustrator:

0 SDT/KL
Y:\PROJECTS\77501TT\Drawing Office\Report Figs\eval\12_02\77501_eval_f6.dwg

Wessex Archaeology

This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Trench 31: plan and photograph

Figure 8

3205

3204

Trench 32
3202

Plate 8: Trench 32, view from north

0

2m

Date: Evaluation trench Scale: Path:

27/02/12 1:50

Revision Number: Illustrator:

0 SDT/KL
Y:\PROJECTS\77501TT\Drawing Office\Report Figs\eval\12_02\77501_eval_f6.dwg

Wessex Archaeology

This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Trench 32: plan and photograph

Figure 9

3302

Trench 32
3304

3306

3306

3303

3308

Plate 9: Trench 33, view from north

0

2m

Date: Evaluation trench Scale: Path:

27/02/12 1:40

Revision Number: Illustrator:

0 SDT/KL
Y:\PROJECTS\77501TT\Drawing Office\Report Figs\eval\12_02\77501_eval_f6.dwg

Wessex Archaeology

This material is for client report only © Wessex Archaeology. No unauthorised reproduction.

Trench 33: plan and photograph

Figure 10

WESSEX ARCHAEOLOGY LIMITED. Registered Head Office: Portway House, Old Sarum Park, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 6EB. Tel: 01722 326867 Fax: 01722 337562 info@wessexarch.co.uk Regional offices in Edinburgh , Rochester and Sheffield For more information visit www.wessexarch.co.uk
Wessex Archaeology Ltd is a company with limited liability registered in England, No. 1712772 and VAT No. 631943833. It is also a Registered Charity in England and Wales, No. 287786; and in Scotland, Scottish Charity No. SC042630.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful